tv Countdown With Keith Olbermann MSNBC April 23, 2010 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
let me finish tonight with some possibly good news on immigration reform. the hardest thing about this problem, like any other problem, is to find a solution that both sides prefer to the existing problem. let's face it. that's been the problem. the people who care about the welfare of those who came into this country illegally are unwilling to get serious about enforcing the law. they just are. and the people who don't like the fact that people came into this country illegally, they're unwilling to get serious about ways who let those become legal. they just are. that basically explains the situation we're in right now and have been in for decades. nothing gets done for the basic reason that the people here illegally don't want the law
enforced, and the people here illegally don't want to help them become legal. now comes the arizona law signed today to allow police officers to check on people they think are here illegally. maybe it will shake things loose. maybe it will convince people who don't want to get serious about real immigration control to see the dangers of doing nothing. maybe it will convince those who want to get serious about immigration control there's a better way to do it than going around rounding people up. maybe it will get us to some common sense solutions. so let the people who are here stay here. that's what i say. and work to become americans. cut dramatically back on illegal immigration by giving employers and workers a reliable system for employers to know who is here legally and who isn't. i have to show an i.d. to get on to an airplane. and if i'm driving on the highway, i need a driver's license. and i need a passport to leave or enter this country. why can't we have a national system to i.d. workers? i want real immigration reform, not the papering over of the problem we had in the '80s.
maybe this arizona situation will make it happen by showing the nasty alternative. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "countdown" with keith olbermann starts right now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? arizona enacts. racism. >> though many people disagree, i firmly believe it represents what's best for arizona. >> governor jan brewer signs into law police powers to pull over anybody for no reason. and like a hollywood world war ii film, ask to see their papers. >> it protects all of us. every arizona citizen and everyone here in our state lawfully. >> provided you're not hispanic or you don't look hispanic or you don't have a tan. or you don't run into a policeman who just feels like hassling you. the blow back had already begun. >> the reasoned efforts in
arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as americans. >> we in arizona have been more than patient waiting for washington to act. >> governor, you ain't seen nothing yet. how the anti-hispanic laws of arizona might cripple arizona while gallon vonnizing support for diversity. lower receipt to sanchez of california and chris hayes from "the nation." watching porn, not watching the store. new e-mails confirming nobody at the s.e.c. in 2007 was watching the credit industry, as moody's, stan doord and poors. that's right, i paid for my hospital stay in chickens. >> in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. >> the gop finally comes up with a health care plan and it's
bartering for your health with poultry. worsts. the day dick cheney told senator leahy to go f himself. >> it's sort of the best thing i ever did. >> sort of? and friday's with thurber. tonight, "the toe paz cufflinks mystery." all the news and commentary now on "countdown." good evening from new york. just hours ago the governor of arizona signed into law an immigration bill that may in practical terms mandate racial profiling. hours before that president obama criticized the proposed law and used it as an example of why federal level immigration reform is so necessary and urgent. in our fifth story tonight, will this new law do for immigration reform what outrageous insurance rate hikes did for health care reform? governor brewer today signed into law and then defended a law
that allows arizona police to stop anyone on-site and ask them to produce papers, proving they are in the country legally if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person may be in the country illegally. the law would take effect 90 days after the state legislative session ends, meaning by august of this year. unless it is enjoined. the latitude the new measure gives police is one that has been vigorously criticized by opponents. governor brewer, who will be facing a primary challenge from a handful of republicans this august, framed it as a security of law enforcement. the governor said her state waited patiently for washington to act amid a dangerous and unacceptable situation and she claimed that no one else's civil rights would be violated. >> my signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law. both against illegal immigration and against racial profiling. this legislation mirrors federal laws regarding immigration
enforcement. i will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in arizona. today i amish ewing an executive order directing the arizona peace officer standards and training board, az post to develop training to appropriately implement senate bill 270. importantly, this training will include what does and does not constitute reasonable suspicion that a person is not legally present in the united states. >> earlier today, at a naturalization ceremony for 24 active duty service members, the president called for comprehensive immigration reform and took the opportunity to critique the arizona bill. >> indeed our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. that includes for example the recent efforts in arizona which threaten to undermine basic
notions of fairness, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe. in fact, i've instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation. if we continue to fail to act as a federal level we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country. >> opponents of that misguided arizona immigration measure include arizona's attorney general, and new mexico governor bill richardson. reverend jim wallis has said in a statement that churches will not comply with it for moral reasons. calling for an economic boycott of his own state if the bill became law, he called for it on this news cast on tuesday, which today reiterated that position to "countdown" from his office. the primary focus of the boycott would be the state's convention centers. senator john mccain of arizona who like governor brewer is in his own primary battle for re-election has supported the
measure. while mccain said it would be regrettable if the legislation led to profiling, he said the law was written to protect people's whose homes and property are being violated. drivers of cars with illegals in them that are intentionally causing accidents on the freeways. protesters who camped out at the arizona state capitol for days in opposition to the bill reacted to the governor's signing today with boos and chants of shame on you. joining me, loretta sanchez of california. >> thanks for having me tonight. >> governor brewer says racial profiling is illegal and will not be tolerated. almost anybody guilty under in law will almost necessarily be hispanic. it seems to me these statements are mutually exclusive. >> more importantly i believe the governor has tolerated it. we've seen they have mariposa county sheriff there who's under investigation by our justice department and our fbi because while they're allowed, 287-g,
it's a provision in federal law that says if we train you and you are a law enforcement officer and you agree with a memorandum of understanding to act as immigration officials, and if you do it right, you can in fact get these people, get them to i.c.e. and we can work on deporting them. but what we've seen is they haven't been trained. they -- they're almost like vigil antes out there and that's why we have an investigation against that. so for her to say she won't tolerate it, well, i would say, madam governor, it's happening. it's happening. and now you've signed a law that if you really read it says someone like loretta sanchez, a hispanic, goes into arizona, now what type of credentials am i supposed to carry with me? what -- you know? and the other night, last night i had one of my colleagues say, we can tell they're just
different. >> right. >> what do you mean? well, they dress differently. they even wear different shoes. you know, i don't think so. >> it's madness. >> it's -- it really is a crazy thing to see. >> now let me ask you the definite devil's advocate problem. specifically in arizona, people are being kidnapped in phoenix by drug cartels, people pulling people out of homes and taking them back to mexico and holding them for money. these are not imaginary problems. they may not be a million per two million cases, but they are happening. so what is the solution that this so clearly is not the solution? >> well, the first thing that is a solution is that we need to handle the immigration issue. what does that mean? we believe it's three prong. i believe it's a three prong solution. first, understand who's to come into our country and who's not. we have the sovereign right to decide that. make the borders -- you can't have 100% complete tightness on the border. but you can do a pretty good job. and we've been trying to do that.
we've been allocating the resources. i have more than twice as many border patrol agents as i had just two years ago in our federal service. so we're working very hard to get the security. but remember, there's a lot of people passing and there's a reason why they're coming to the united states. it's an economic reason. so i would say let's make visas that allow people to come if we have jobs available for them to come so that they're not being -- sneaking into our country or running across our country or giving money to those people who would profit from a smuggling trade. because where there's smuggling there's forging of documents, there's laundering of money, there's possible terrorists who could be smugged in in the same lines, there's definitely drug dealing going on. so bad people are profiting because we as a government have not stood up and said let's make a good program where people who need to work can come because we
need workers. and lastly, let's just say that the third piece of enforcement of visas for the future and what do we do about the people who are already here. we need to do something about that. because when we take care of that, then we have -- we've taken the big haystack away and we're really just dealing with the criminal element we're talking about. >> this effort in arizona right now that was pushed through the senate and signed by the governor today, do you think this is a sincere but misguided effort to address the problem, or is this politicians being challenged from their own right side, people more conservative even than they are conservative, and they're making political hay out of this? which do you think it is. >> i don't know the governor so i can't attest to her. i do believe john mccain, very well, i've been 14 years in the congress while he's been a senator. he understands there needs to be
a comprehensive immigration reform done. you know, the guy who's running against him, j.d. hayworth i served with. i don't want to see j.d. hayworth in that position, and i understand that people are angry in arizona, some of the -- especially people who vote, because they do get scared. they are scared about this. they are worried about so many people coming, coyotes as we call them, bringing people in. they're worried about terrorists, they're worried -- they're just worried. and they see it infringing their lifestyle. i understand that. we can handle that. but as i said, we have to have a comprehensive package. so i would just hope that senator mccain gets through that primary and gets back to the business of governing. we need to pass an immigration reform. let me add something that worries me, from law enforcement, some people say the cops want this, law enforcement want this, the police chiefs of
my area do not want to have an immigrant community. the hispanic community or the arab-american community or the russian-american community or the vietnamese community, they want to have good relationships with these immigrant communities. when you begin to shut down a community because they may not -- their people may not have the status, therefore they don't want to interact with the police, then criminals can hide within those communities. >> right. >> even criminals who are not part of that community. >> yeah, that becomes a new self-feeding problem that can replace the problem they think they're fixing here. >> and then there's more crime, so my police officials actually are against these types of situations. >> congresswoman lowe loretta sanchez, thanks for coming in. chris hayes. >> good evening, keith. >> are we seeing now a southwestern strategy on the
party's part? >> if it's a southwestern strategy, i think it's idiotic. they reaped a lot of gains from the southern strategy back in the '60s and '70s and the problem is they can win regionally in short term ways in a state like arizona. they can make some sort of political hay out of this. in the long-term, it's suicide. it's political suicide because of the demographic trends of the country. every smart republican from a strategics perspective understands that. and yet i think they're so sort of captured by the angriest part of the base that this is the sort of thing you see. >> but as you suggest, could this wind up being the best thing to ever happen to opponents of bills like this? >> i do think it has the potential for two reasons. one is i think it could be a really terri schiavo moment. we've been seeing the snake flag with don't tread on me, right? this is, you know, we are sure as hell going to tread on you.
we're going to tread all over you. this is an unbelievable ratcheting up of state power. it's almost certainly unconstitutional. that will be resolved by the courts. second of all, back in 2006 the largest mass mobilization since the iraq war were the rallies in support of immigration reform. what triggered that is a bill in the house sponsored by sensenbrenner that would have made it a crime to be illegal, or to be out of status. and that really galvanized the movement that sort of coalesced then, and this may be a similar triggering point. >> when you get to the point, congre congresswoman sanchez, who was just here, any partially somewhat tanned person of caucasian origin, who's not from arizona, needs to have their passport with them in another state of this country. it is mind boggling. >> right. it's -- it's just so beyond the pale. i think the other thing that has
to happen is it has to be made into a national issue. every single republican needs to be asked whether they support this bill. every single one serving in congress and the senate, this has to be made into a national issue. they have to be put on the defensive to either repudiate it or just to endorse it. >> think of john boehner. i don't want to make too much light of this. but just for a second think of john boehner getting pulled over in phoenix because he's orange. to get back to the serious part of this, tuesday night, proposing with obvious regret and pain in his voice saying this about his home state, an economic boycott of conventions, the principle idea, how quickly could something like that kick in businesswise because their a the baseball spring training in arizona, the cactus league had been growing. manny ramirez is going to go train when some cop might drive him?
how fast could this unravel economically? >> that's a real pressure point. in 1990 when the citizens of arizona refused to recognize martin luther king day as a national -- as a federal holiday, there was a boycott effort, the great public unmy song, by the time i get to arizona so i think the boycott directed at the state had some influence. and i think that hopefully you're going to see a kind of movement like that now. i think it will start to kind of recalculate the incentives for both the citizens of arizona and the politician. >> watch the sports angle. there may be sports teams pressured not to go to arizona for 2011. chris hayes, have a great weekend. >> you too. the companies that were supposed to tell us whether the investments other companies were offering were risky or safe were bought off by the companies offering those investments. and the s.e.c. could legally do
this senator thinks he has a campaign winner. porn in obama's securities and exchange commission. september the porn dates back to bush's security and exchange commission. you need a colonoscopy. your payment is 365 chickens. this man shamed his nation, turns out the best thing he ever did was to shame his office by swearing in a senator. and friday nights with thurber, explaining to a guy while he's on the side of the road at night on all fours. vegetables are naturally low in calories. v8 juice gives you 3 of your 5 daily servings.
under president bush, the s.e.c. could do nothing while companies that were supposed to rate the safety of bond and derivative investments offered by other companies, instead cut deals to falsely inflate those ratings. our fourth story tonight, new e-mail trails suggesting the people supposed to provide oversight of the people who were supposed to provide oversight were by law unable to stop the second group from being paid off. this is a separate probe of the bush era securities and exchange commission shows some key people did spend their taxpayer funded days watching pornography. former executives from moody's and standard & poor's testifying they pushed their analysts to award investments, even when investments were risky. management placing that pressure in order to keep earning the fees paid by the investment banks. analysts saying they faced a choice, continue to give falsely
inflated ratings, or quit their jobs. senator levin of michigan, chairman of the committee that held the hearing, calling the entire system an inside job. >> the credit rating agencies were operating with an inherent conflict of interest. because the revenues they pocketed came from the companies whose securities they rated. it's like one of the parties in court paying the judge's salary, or one of the teams in a competition paying the salary of the referee. >> the s.e.c.'s oversight of the credit ratings agencies now unlimited, claiming they are protected by the first amendment right to free speech. republicans in congress meanwhile using their first amendment right to free speech to push for something, anything, with which to discredit the s.e.c., and by extension the obama administration. yesterday afternoon, senator grassley making a request of inspector general david cotts' office. grandma is not mentioned once in the letter. in your semi annual reports to congress, you have indicated
your office has investigated several instances of s.e.c. employees inappropriately accessing pornographic materials from their government computers to determine whether there could be a systemic problem at s.e.c. could you provide a comprehensive summary over the last five years? replying almost immediately, and he could because the documents that have been available have been available on his website all along, he said his investigations had netted nearly three dozen instances in which s.e.c. employees had used government computers to access and download pornography when they should have been, you know, keeping the economy from the brink of collapse. the pulitzer prize winning propublica reporting two years ago during the bush administration. grassley made public and trumpeted as a new revelation about the obama era group. congressman issa, quote, nothing short of disturbing, the same
california republican who earlier this week wrote a letter to the s.e.c. chairman, saying the goldman sachs lawsuit neatly coincided with the white house's push for financial reform. let's call in ezra klein with "the washington post." good evening. >> good evening, keith. >> a system in which analysts are paid for their reviews by the companies they are reviewing. does it take a genius to figure out that was a system waiting to be abused and spectacularly so? >> no, it doesn't. i thought senator levin underplayed the situation. it isn't just as if they're paying off the people rating them, they can also choose another grader t would be like in high school if you wrote your own test, filled the answers in yourself, gave the teacher $100 to grade it, and if you didn't like it, gave another teacher $100. one thing should be clear, we haven't dealt with this in the bills. we have not fixed this fundamental conflict of interest in the bills. this is really important, because of the way these investment banks work, they
outsource their thinking to these ratings agencies. they all look, the aaa on the bond, they went with it. getting these ratings right is really important. >> so aaa is a brand name when it comes to bonding. >> aaa is in the goodhousekeeping seal of approval. they are putting aaa on all those subprime securities. they were saying the subprime thing that's blew up the economy they had virtually no risk to them. that's how bad it got. >> the republicans who spent most of the week questioning the timing of the goldman sachs investigation and lawsuit, is the timing of mr. grassley's request about pornography suspect as well? >> there's certainly an effort being made by some folks here to discredit the s.e.c. in retaliation for the goldman suit which i think brings up two interesting points. one is, why do republicans feel the need to be on the side of goldman sachs in this particular question? and number two, it isn't clear exactly what they're getting at. even if you do prove the s.e.c.
timed its release, which they say they didn't, even if you did prove it, it isn't material to what people are concerned about. the reason it's a very big deal is it shows what these wall street banks were doing. it shows how they were playing the game and shows how much they were rigging it, or at least it appears to do so, based on the s.e.c.'s case. so even if the s.e.c. is trying to hype their findings here, that's really, really getting a little bit off track when what the country is worried about is looking at the guy who's crashed the economy and we were letting them do this sort of thing. this is how it was working. >> and the effort to finally start to fix that begins monday night. senators are supposed to voets on whether to move forward on the wall street reform bill. this past week it looked like a deal was inevitable, republicans realized they need to be on the winning side of the issue. now democrats have to make concessions, what's happening with the bill? >> one thing i learned during health care reform, is i don't speculate on meetings that are ongoing. what we'll probably know on monday -- i'll just say one side
thing concerning me here. we moved so quickly on this bill from when it was introduced. it went through committee with no debate, got down to the floor and now we're talking about deals we don't know going on with it, i'm not necessarily one that thinks you need ten months, 12 months, 18 months on the headlines to do these things. but we really haven't even debated the fundamental bill. this is moving through quickly than legislators are understanding the bill or getting a chance to say is this the right theory for how we want to regulate this industry. i'm not saying it's a bad bill or good deal, i don't think people know what's in this thing yet. even the people that need to vote on it. i do think that's important. >> just terrific. ezra klein of "the washington post" and "newsweek." have a good weekend. the price for your doctor visit is 12 chickens. do you have change for two rhode island reds? [ male announcer ] whose idea was this?
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the republicans finally have a health care plan as tweeted at 42 bk dodger in our second runner up tweet of the day, i assume cpas will report items received under lowden's payment system at fowl market value. many refollowing in a quick sodic bid to become the epic 50,000th follower, photos tweeted today, none. luke russert said he'd send one.
in lou of a chicken can i pay for services with a block of spicy tofu? tweet of the day, from my friend, the leader of rogue famed state arizona jan brewer is now massing more forces on her southern border. how i wish he was joking. boycott baseball's cactus league. let's play "oddball." we begin on the sun. is it occupied? with all of the focus on mars and asteroids lately, the sun had to do something to get noticed. these captured by four telescopes. this fiery ring here, that's 30 times the size of the earth. it's called a solar eruption, possibly a reminder to earth on earth day of just who revolves around whom. to beijing where residents are fed up with a stench emanating from area garbage dumps,
deploying over 100 cannons of deodor ant. strong enough for a landfill but ph balanced enough for a sensitive nasal cavity. a sweet smelling mist covers up the stink. after the garbage is febreezed, odor-eating sheets are brought in. love the smell of old spice in the morning. and this is all the brain child of workers at the landfill. they're already developing their next big idea, urinal cakes for the state house of arizona. finally to lima in peru, folks doing hard time in prison are given an alternative to the usual lunchtime omage to "thriller," the first match, russia versus south africa. 216 prisoners representing 16 countries will eventually play. this gives new meaning to the
instructions, go directly to jail, do not pass go, go directly to goal! what? the funny stupid thing proposed by western republicans this week. [ tires screech ] ♪ [ sighs ] ♪ that's two for doubting. [ chuckles ] you hit like my sister. really? i'd like to meet her. [ male announcer ] the volkswagen cc. award-winning design starting under $28,000. it's a whole new volkswagen, and a whole new game. the end of the day in sitka, alaska, the fishermen bring in award-winning design starting under $28,000. the catch. and cargill brings in the sea salt to help them preserve it, shipped in an efficient supply chain to save the fishermen money and their catch. this is how cargill works with customers.
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why did the chicken cross the nevada road? to pay for its owner's hemorrhoid removal. nevada republican senate hopeful sue lowden thought people should be able to pay for health care with chickens. now she's mat at harry reid for calling attention to these remarks. to pair areraphrase, keep plugg that chicken. mesquite chicken. it was in mesquite that lowden first suggested bartering with
doctors. >> let's change the system and talk about what the possibilities are. i'm telling you that this works. you know, before we all started having health care in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. they would say, i'll paint your house. that's the old days of what people would do to get health care with doctors. doctors are sympathetic people. i'm not backing down from that system. >> proving whatever's wrong with sarah palin, it's not just the cold. lowden is upset with reid, she's crying foul, telling the nevada newspaper, he's trying to change the subject, those doctors who you pay cash, can you barter and that would get prices down in a hurry. a total of 459 billion chickens to cover american's health care
costs. there are less than that in the world but you could stretch it out with mayonnaise. a regular checkup would run 24 chickens, a co. don't get a brain aneurism unless you own several coops. there is a caveat. your doctor may require more chickens as specify. chickens should not drive you to the doctor. ducks, llamas, et cetera, cannot be converted. >> the creator and host of this week in bla week, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you for having me, sir. >> the chicken cost calculator is obviously satirical, but do they not get to the core of the question, your chicken doesn't get as far as it used to?
>> an entire chicken fully cooked i got for $6.99. like how much chickens would i have to get for like a root canal. like, seriously? >> say you were going to find a doctor who would take chickens for your root canal, would you want to go to a dentist accepting livestock at the front desk and the chick nz go past you while you're in the dental chair? >> at this point we're not really thinking about clean hospitals. do you want clean hospitals or a black guy in charge? i mean, socialism. which one do you want? >> there's been a few doctors, but otherwise not a lot of support for bartering coming from the medical community. any reason to speculate as to why doctors haven't just signed up in droves for this plan just yet? >> i'm assuming that they're waiting for better bartering deals, like drug dealers in 1988 brooklyn had a better bartering deal. like if you wanted crack you'd have to get your big screen tv in the room or something or your
car. like how many chickens is it going to take for a triple bypass. that's ridiculous. >> this lowden person, her comment was in the old days doctors used to take chickens in exchange for saving your life. but also in the old days, if you were sick and you went down to your neighborhood barber who preceded the doctor for a bleeding to get out the evil humors and maybe he'd give you some leaches to go, should we talk about medicine and the old days, do we want to go to the old days like, anesthesia, just lie there until it stops hurting. >> in the old days we did things we might not want to do now. like when we wanted to get rid of undesirables we gave them blankets with small pox on it. are we going to go to the old days to solve problems, like to get rid of illegals? forget immigration reform, let's just give them disease riddled blankets. what about that? >> or have the cops pull them --
oh, that's right. they're going to do that. that's the new days. one other thing about ms. lowden, she works as a casino executive. do they take chickens at the slot machines and tables and such? >> it would be awesome if they did at her casino. it looks like a barnyard there, like someone loses a hand at blackjack and they're handing over a horse, that would be amazing. >> you've tapped out. >> yeah. exactly. >> comedian elon james white. >> thank you for having me, sir. friday nights with james thurber, tonight one of his best known short stories. like father like son, makes worsts for the first time. and rachel's special guest, in the abuse scandal in the catholic church, sinead o'connor. pen anytim
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if it's friday, it's james thurber. that's next. first a correction to tuesday's worst persons. the associated press had the wrong data, the staff of the new governor chris christie was earning $2 million a year more than the predecessor, jon corzine. christie's staff is taking $440,000 more. like that's okay. the associated press regrets the error. as to tonight's worsts, the bronze to james murdoch, ozzie pirate jr., heir apparent to his father, rupert. rupert murdoch won't decide this election, you will. murdoch, the younger and the publisher of all of british papers stormed into the office of the independent, demanded to see the editor in chief and yelled at him over the ad for 20 minutes. they strode in like a scene out of dodge city, said one witness.
what are you f-ing playing at? he reportedly began. according to the newspaper, he accused the editor of breaking the unwritten code that proprietors do not attack each other. oh, jimmy, you're new here. rules? there are no rules. our runner up, congressman brian doeb bray of california with one of the dumbest things ever said in the increasingly desperate effort to diz guys arizona's official state racism as anything else. chris matthews asked him what, when they go looking for possible immigrants, they will look for besides the color of their skin. bilbray's answer? their shoes. >> they will look at the kind of dress they wear. there's different type of attire, there's different type of -- right down to the shoes. right down to the clothes. but mostly by behavior. >> different type of attire. okay, so you can judge people's
illegalalty by how they dress. let's see how this works. white shirts, gray suits, a little purple in the tie. caucasians, in their 50s, yet one of us has a job in which we succeeded a fellow named duke cunningham. guess it doesn't work. but the winner, dick cheney, on the internet show of former comedian dennis miller who brought up 2004 on the senate floor when he told senator leahy to go blank himself. >> by the way, i also want to thank you and on the list of things, thank you for almost kicking patrick leahy's ass. thank you very much. i love that move. one of my favorite stoirps, muttering that. >> you'd be surprised how many people liked that. that's sort of the best thing i ever did. >> lied us into a war resulting in the death of thousands of americans, ruined our standing abroad. instituted torture, shredded the constitution.
you know what, dick? i agree with you. that was the best thing you ever did. how god damned pathetic is that? and, dick, on a personal note, what jon stewart said. dick cheney, today's worst person in the world. thank you, saltwater spray-tunnel and shaker machine. thank you to all the 5,000 tests that helped make the nissan altima better for everyone who drives it. the nissan altima. made to make your life better. and highest ranked in initial quality by j.d. power and associates. now lease a new altima for $199 a month for 39 months. ♪
time again to close a weekend, or week of "countdown" with a reading from the works of the great james thurber. i've been doing this for four weeks now, reading thurber. but if have you not seen, it i read these in the hospital to my dad. he said i should read them to you, and the thurber family agreed. i'm happy to report sales of thurber's books have zoomed. one quick thank you to william windham who portrayed thurber,
whose mastery of the texts was my inspiration for daring to try this. tonight, one of his stranger, weirder short stories. i'm reading from "thurber, writings and drawings" 1996. this was originally published in 1935 in the middle-aged man on the flying trap peas. "the poe paz cufflinks mystery" by james thurber. when the motorcycle cop came roaring up unexpectedly out of neverneverland the way motorcycle cops do, the man was on his hands and knees in the long grass beside the road barking like a dog. the woman was driving slowly along in a car that stopped about 80 feet away. its headlines shown on the man, middle-aged, bewildered, sedentary. he got to his feet. what's going on here? asked the cop. the woman giggled.
he did not glance at her. i guess it's gone, said the man. i could not find it. what was it? what i lost? the man squinted unhappily. some -- some cuff links. topazes set in gold. they were the color of a fine mosul, said the man. the woman giggled. aren't things better with your glasses off? asked the cop. he pulled his motorcycle to the side to let a car pass. better pull over off the concrete, lady, he said. she drove the car off the roadway. i'm near-sighted said the man. i can hunt things at a distance with my glasses object, but i do better with them off if i'm close to something. the cop kicked his heavy boots through the grass where the man had been crouching. he was barking, ventured the
lady in the car, so that i could see where he was. the cop pulled his machine up on its standard. he and the man walked over to the automobile. what i don't get, said the officer, is how you lose cufflinks 100 feet from where your car is. the lady laughed again. her husband got slowly into the car as if he were afraid the officer would stop him any moment. the officer studied them. been to a party, he asked. it was after midnight. we're not drunk, if that's what you mean, said the woman smiling. the cop tapped his fingers on the door of the car. you people didn't lose no topazes, he said. is it against the law for a man to be down on all fours barking in a perfectly civil manner, demanded the lady? no, ma'am, said the cop.
he made no effort to go about his business. it was just the auto engine for a time. i'll tell you how it was, officer. said the man in a crisp new tone. we were settling a bet. okay? okay, said the cop. who win? there was another pulsing silence. the lady bet, said her husband with dignity, as though he was explaining some important phase of industry to a newly hired clerk. the lady bet that my eyes would shine like a cats do at night if she came upon me suddenly close to the ground alongside the road. we passed a cat whose eyes gleamed. we passed several persons whose eyes did not gleam. simply because they were above the light and not under it, said the lady. a man's eyes would gleam like a cat if people were ordinarily caught by the same angle as cats are. the cop walked over to where he left his motorcycle, picked it up, kicked the standard